Russia will deploy the advanced S-400 and Pantsir-S air defence systems during the Union Shield 2011 exercise with Belarus this month, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Vladimir Drik said.

RIA Novosti reported the spokesman as saying that the air defence systems would be deployed during the operational phase of the exercise at the Ashuluk firing range in the Astrakhan Region, Russia.

Union Shield is a joint military drill between Russia and Belarus, which aims to improve interoperability and combat readiness between the two countries.

About 12,000 troops, 50 aircraft and 200 combat vehicles, including 100 tanks will also participate in the drills.